Bring Batman Home!

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 Batman - The Movie

 Batman - Holy Batmania

 Batman: Batman Theme And 19 Other Bat Songs (1966 TV Series)

 Batman - The TV Series Season One (It's Coming Soon!)


Show Type: Fantasy Adventure

First Telecast: January 12, 1966

Last Telecast: March 14, 1968

Theme Music: "Batman" by Neal Hefti

Broadcast History:

January 1966-August 1967, Wednesday/Thursday 7:30-8:00 on ABC

September 1967-March 1968, Thursday 7:30-8:00 on ABC


Bruce Wayne / Batman..... Adam West

Dick Grayson / Robin..... Burt Ward

Alfred Pennyworth..... Alan Napier

Aunt Harriet Cooper..... Madge Blake

Police Commissioner Gordon..... Neil Hamilton

Chief O'Hara..... Stafford Repp

Barbara Gordon / Batgirl (1967-1968)..... Yvonne Craig


Cartoonist Bob Kane's Batman first appeared in comic-book form in Detective Comics in 1939 and was featured on radio's Superman series and in two movie serials in the late 1940's. In January of 1966, it took television by storm. But in slightly two years, it blew itself out.

Batman was the ultimate "camp" show of the 1960's and was definitely not to be taken seriously, even by those who acted in it. The fight scenes were punctuated by animated "Pows," "Bops," "Bangs," and "thuds" that flashed on the screen when a blow was struck, obliterating the actors. The situations were incredibly contrived and the acting was intentionally overdone by everyone except Adam West, who was so wooden that he was hilarious.

The general structure of the series was true to Bob Kane's original comics. Bruce Wayne had been orphaned in his teens when his parents were killed by a criminal. Inheriting their fortune, Bruce built a complex crime lab under the Wayne mansion, and, as the mysterious Batman, waged war on the evildoers who plagued Gotham City. His young ward, the orphaned Dick Grayson, joined him;  they were known individually as the Caped Crusader and The Boy Wonder, and together as The Dynamic Duo. The only person who knew their real identity was the Wayne family butler, Alfred, who had raised Bruce after his parents' murder.

In addition to the underground Batlab, (where every device was carefully labeled with its function), used a marvelously equipped car, the Batmobile, to chase and apprehend criminals. Whenever their services were needed, Police Commissioner Gordon could summon them with the searchlight-like Batsignal or call them on the special Batphone.

Batman was an overnight sensation when it premiered in 1966, airing two-part stories that ran on Wednesday and Thursday. The climax of the first part always left the pair in a dire predicament from which they managed to extricate themselves on the following night. The public's fancy was caught by the silliness, the absurdity, and Robin's horrible puns (attempting to scale a building with Batman in the first episode, he was heard to say "Holy fire escape, Batman,". Both the Wednesday and Thursday episodes ranked among the ten most popular programs of the 1965-1966 season.

Appearing as a guest villain on the show became something of a status symbol. Among the more celebrated foes were The Penguin (Burgess Meredith), The Joker (Cesar Romero), The Riddler (Frank Gorshin and later, John Astin), Egghead (Vincent Price), King Tut (Victor Buono), and the Catwoman (played variously by Julie Newmar, Lee Ann Meriwether and Eartha Kitt).

By the fall of 1967, however, the novelty had passed and the ratings began to fall. A new role was added, the part of Commissioner Gordon's daughter Barbara, a young librarian who fought crime on her own as Batgirl, and who regularly teamed up with Batman and Robin (she had also been in Kane's comics). But it didn't help. Cut back to once a week in the fall of 1967, the surprise hit of 1966 was gone by the following spring.

The Dynamic Duo didn't completely disappear from network television, however. Six months after the ABC prime-time series faded from the air, the animated Batman-Superman Hour premiered on CBS' Saturday morning schedule. The first animated version lasted two seasons. Batman and Robin surfaced again on ABC's Super Friends in the fall of 1973. From February 1977 to September 1978, CBS The New Adventures of Batman with Adam West and Burt Ward providing the voices, and Super Friends on ABC, despite numerous title changes, remained on the air until 1985.

They resurfaced as part of The New Batman/Superman Adventures on the WB network in September 1997, where they aired on Saturday mornings and weekday afternoons until the fall of 2000.